I looked over a website tonight that promises happiness. You know, that’s an amazing promise, isn’t it? Because who doesn’t want to be happy? Seriously, ask 48 friends if they would rather be happy or miserable, and en come back and tell me what they all say. I’ll wait. Done? Ok, they all said happy, right? So then, I guess the question at hand is …. how do you get happy? And would joy make you happier in the long run than happiness?
Well, the site was on The Sedona Method. It’s a programmed championed by the likes of Mariel Hemingway, and it’s the subject of a new book called Happy for No Reason by Marci Shimoff. The Sedona Method posits that the way to happiness lies in letting go of out negative feelings and emotions. The Sedona Method is based on two main premises:
* Thoughts and feelings arenâ€™t facts and theyâ€™re not you.
* You can let them go.
It seems simple enough, and right now, you can get a free DVD and CD from the site to help explain it further. There’s also an MP3 that you can get immediately. I find it interesting that the Sedona Method teaches that the happiness you crave is already there inside you. In fact, they say “discover the happiness that you are”.
So, I read all that, and at first, I was thinking, “Man, that’s just a bit hokey, and they oughta just let go and let God.” Yeah, go ahead and laugh with me, because it didn’t take me a real long time to remember a time when I was so caught up in myself that letting go and letting God was the last option to enter my mind. I was so caught up in my hurt and pain that I kept it clutched around me like a blanket, as if it would protect me. And I would not let God heal my hurt, and I do believe that was last week, hello??!!?? Yeah, isn’t God good to remind
us me when I got pompous just how foolish I really am? Keeps me from making a bigger fool of myself.
Here’s the thing though: if you can get yourself to the point that you can give these things to God, then you an move beyond mere happiness to joy. That giving things over, letting them go, it’s a daily process, sometimes an hourly process. Ha! I’ve had weeks where it was minute to minute, yk? The problem with only striving to be happy is that it is no more part of you than the anger and sadness and other negative thoughts and feelings the Sedona Method is trying to help you release. Trading one emotion for another is just riding the Himalaya. Remember that ride? That’s the name the county fair used the first time I rode it. It’s the one where the cars go around on the track, first one way and then the other. Or maybe like a swing, first forward, then backward, and ever at the mercy of your emotions, and how skilled you can get at letting go/redirecting/ giving it over.
Joy, on the other hand, is an attitude. Joy is what you get when you know that whatever happens in your life has passed by God; that your unique circumstances were specifically engineered and designed to bring out the very best in you. Joy is the product of a life bathed in infinite love and unending mercy. Joy is a product of grace. Joy is what you get when you go beyond letting go and you begin to let God.